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Past Student, Mae Udarbe, Thrives After Oxygen College

Mae completed study at Oxygen College in 2016 and has proceeded to continue study at the Australian Institute of Music while building a business as a Music Instructor, Composer and Producer. We have asked Mae to share her experience at Oxygen College and beyond, not only to give credit to Mae’s achievements but also to inspire current and future students.

When and what did you study at Oxygen College?
I studied a Diploma of Music in 2015 and an Advanced Diploma of Music in 2016.

What were your aspirations when you began at Oxygen College?
I didn’t really have a clear direction of what I wanted to do at the time, but I knew I wanted to meet people who shared the same interests, learn about music and gain some insight on the music industry. As my studies at Oxygen College went on, I had more of a focus in becoming a professional musician.

Have you achieved them? And/or has your career path changed?
It’s an ongoing process, however my life now revolves around music and I derive a significant portion of my income through music. I am continuing my musical journey where I’ve met and worked with many talented people including emerging artists and professionals who are wonderful and unique. After Oxygen, I furthered my studies at the Australian Institute of Music and I am now in my final year of a bachelor’s degree in Music, majoring in Composition and Music Production. I’ve learnt a lot about music throughout my years of studies, but I still feel that I have plenty left to learn. I finished up at Oxygen College as a performance major – regularly gigging
solo and with bands, but I have now found myself quite interested in the world of composing to narrative and screen, especially in the last 3 years.

What do you do as a career now?
I have been teaching singing for quite some time and have recently started my own business as a Music Instructor, Composer and Producer. I like to involve myself in various composing projects. I am currently working on an original game idea which I have composed music for as a demo to game developers.

What is 1 piece of advice you would give to a current OC student?
Make sure you try one thing that you’ve never tried before, you never know where it would lead you, I for one left my studies with completely different aspirations from when I began.

What is your chosen system to use for composing?
I combine elements of Orchestral, Electronic and Folk music with a particular focus in Sound composition. I enjoy experimenting and exploring new textures and including them into my work. My process involves a mix of notation, sound design, DAW-based production and home recording/sampling. My use of MIDI allows me access to a large musical palette while retaining an in-the-box approach.

How important are other business elements? eg social media, communication skills?
I think communication skills and the way you present yourself on social media platforms are very important as industry professionals and clients use these elements as an indication of whether they would like to work with you.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Ideally, running a successful music teaching studio with a range of educational outcomes beyond instrumental/vocal coaching offered, as well as actively deriving income and recognition through various composing roles for screen and games, or commissions.

Favourite Geelong cafe/coffee order?
I can’t say that I have a favourite but I really enjoy coffees from 63 Degrees Highton and
Paddington Café in Belmont. My go to order is always a flat white, unless it’s a hot day.

Who is your inspiration?
My educators have played a significant role in the way I create. My games music tutor Meg O’Neill has inspired my interest in games and interactive music, providing a great example of both an educational figure and a composer to model myself after. Another tutor of mine Vince Giles has broadened my interest in more modern and experimental techniques, and his career pathway serves as a possible avenue for myself too. I am still influenced by Phil Kearney and Chris Wheelwright of OC, for both their engagements in the wider musical world and their direct impact on my own choices as a musician. I also listen to a lot of music to gain inspiration. Some of my favourite composers are Jon Hopkins, John Williams and Joe Hisaishi – just to name a few.
To know more about Mae and her incredible compositions, head to:
Website: https://www.maesmusicstudios.com.au/


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